Prehistoric

Ownership

If you have been reading my blog, you know that We have owned SIP since 1988. We originally leased a building from the previous owner with an option to purchase. When the seller, a fellow named Frank Stallings passed, the heirs did not want to sell and they wanted to double the rent. We went on a crash course to find a new location, literally. I crashed my van into the rear of a truck while I was looking at a real estate sign. Those air bags do work. The nephew of a good friend is a commercial realtor and found me three possible locations in our price range. The first was only double the size and would not be vacated for almost a year. The second wasn’t even double the size was really just an abandoned office building with low ceilings and in a bad neighborhood. The third was three times the size and had a couple of tenants in the back part of the building. One was scheduled to leave soon which would give us more than double the space with room to expand when the last tenant left. We could have had triple the space and it was the least expensive and most conveniently located. We made the offer and it was accepted almost immediately. We moved in six weeks later. We had to immediately spend $100,000 to put a new roof on the building which was 35 year old. We spent another $60,000 making improvements. That was 10 years ago and it has held up fairly well but when a building is 45 years old, you have to expect some repairs. The plumbing is all cast iron and copper, which I guess is a good thing but we have been having problems with the drains. All of the bathrooms are in the front of the building and drain into a cast iron system which runs to the front of the building then does a u-turn and runs 300 feet to the back of the building into a septic tank. We have had the plumber out twice in the last month to snake the drain. We think the vent is clogged because when you fill it with water, the urinal overflows with only a trickle going into the drain pipe. We do have good access to snake the drain but the vent goes through the roof which is 25 feet high. I also think that there is an s-bend right where the vent goes into the main drain. Monday, we are going on to the roof again to try and snake the vent. If you have any ideas, please pass them on. To make matters worse, my house is 45 years old too.